The European season is over and now is the time of the year when football fans everywhere experience that empty feeling in the pit of their stomach. Never fear though, as there is still football to get us through safely until August. Starting this week is a crucial round of World Cup Qualifiers, with several nations looking to finalise their trips to South Africa in 12 months time. On the subject of South Africa, this summer will see the traditional World Cup warm-up event, the Confederations Cup which will begin on June 14th with South Africa vs Iraq, with the final taking place on June 28th.
Is that not enough? This summer will also see Europe’s brightest young talent on show with the European U21 Championship taking place June 15th – 29th, and the European U19 Championships also take place starting July 21st with the final on August 2nd.
Still you need more? Well for all of us in North America there is plenty of live football to watch. The Gold Cup will be taking place starting on July 3rd with the final on July 26th. If club football is more your thing, the best clubs in Europe with be touring around the continent in July and August on their pre-season tours (and of course MLS will also be around as ever).
As far as pre-season tournaments go, there is none bigger than the Peace Cup, and the 2009 edition has my attention as it will be graced by Aston Villa for the first time, along with other less glamorous clubs such as Real Madrid, Juventus, Sevilla and Lyon.
There will also be the transfer saga to follow, such as will Ronaldo sign for Real Madrid, part 3 (I would love to know how it ends, just please end!). So be sure to check back to The Subs Bench for the latest news and opinions all summer long.
Finally, if you have just had to much football and need a break, then the summer is a great time to reconnect with those people you met this time last year, your non-football loving friends and family. And be sure to check in on The Ashes as the Aussies give it to those Brits yet again starting in July (that’s cricket for those of you who don’t know).